Novice writers often think that when they finish the first draft of a novel, “revision” will mean spell-checking. Or, at a maximum, “cleaning up” a few odds and ends. They couldn’t be more wrong. Frequently, revision means a deep, thorough rewrite. This requires that the author step back and analyze the manuscript: give it an editorial MRI and psychoanalyze the thing.
To see what an experienced author does before rewriting, take a look at Jeff VanderMeer’s “High Level Notes After Completing First Draft.”